THE future of 130 workers at the Cororooke dairy factory earmarked for closure remains uncertain after meetings between unions and management yesterday.
Organisers from the National Union of Workers (NUW) spent three hours in discussions with Fonterra management in Cororooke to lay out negotiations for the coming months.
South-West NUW organiser Darren Stiles said the company had pledged to meet with workers to hear their individual grievances.
Mass meetings will also take place for the 130-strong workforce.
Workers were left shocked last Monday after they were told of the decision to close the cheese and cream processing factory.
Fonterra plans to inject $20 million into sites at Dennington and Cobden, but was unable to upgrade the ageing Cororooke site.
No date has been set for the 100-year-old dairy factory to close its doors.
However, Mr Stiles said early indications were the last day could be in June next year.
A small number of Cororooke employees may be able to transfer to Cobden, however the size of the closure will make redundancies inevitable.
“The union is not happy with the redundancies but it’s the reality of what we’re dealing with,” Mr Stiles said.
He said the plant would likely operate “business as usual” for the time being.
He said negotiations between the union and the dairy producer had so far been positive.
“The mood (in the meeting) was quite good,” he said.
“The company seem to be doing all the right things.
“There’s no real argument with the company. We’re not happy with this but we have to deal with it.”